A Win for the Voice of the People
When a U.S. House committee voted to strip $100 million from funding for public radio and television, People For the American Way immediately galvanized its supporters and activists to call on Congress, generating hundreds of thousands of contacts over the phone, through email and on the web.
After today’s landslide, bipartisan vote on the floor of the House to restore the funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) budget, People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas had the following statement:
“This shows the power of people coming together to make their voice heard. We didn’t whisper. We shouted to the rooftops: ‘Keep your mitts off Big Bird,’ and the U.S. Congress heard us loud and clear.
“In all seriousness, the massive response from the American people sends a message to this Congress that people value the independent voices of public broadcasting, and want to keep the news, public affairs, educational and arts programming that public radio and TV uniquely provide. On behalf of my five-year-old daughter and all her schoolmates across the nation, I hope CPB Board Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson was listening: Mess with Elmo, and you’re messing with America.
“People For the American Way called this morning for President Bush to fire Mr. Tomlinson, and we renew that call. Partisan politics has no place in public broadcasting, and independent voices must not be silenced. Mr. Tomlinson should take this vote as a sign of things to come, and step down.”